Monday, May 12, 2008

Where did May go?

I can't believe the whole month has slipped by and I have neglected all of the tasks for the comment challenge (okay, I mulled them over but have been a bad blogger by letting the post sit in blogger the whole month). I have really not followed it well. In the past, I might have let it go, but I really need to learn from this. So here goes for a super combined post.

Day 1: Do a Commenting Self-Audit

I have tried to pick up and comment on new blogs each week. More importantly, I am extending myself by subscribing to new blogs as well that extend me in technology, education, science (my field), and environment (what I love). I chose to do this because when I do comment, I tend to on the blogs in my google reader. You can see the pattern here.

Although doing this near the end of the school year has been quite the battle in managing everything including my growing reader, it has given me more interesting perspectives. I believe I have commented more, but still tend to not comment if there are already a lot of comments. I need to get over that. I also have had little time to go find my own new blogs, but instead am relying on posts from my reader to take me to new blogs.

Day 2: Comment on a Blog You’ve Never Commented on Before

I started out alright with this one but near the end of the month, I am barely catching up.

Day 3: Sign up for a Comment Tracking Service

This was easy - I signed up for CoComments and you can see to the right of my blog, the comments I have made.

Day 4: Ask a Question in a Blog Comment
I rarely do this. I considered this a great way to up my blogging. Creating comments that include questions is a great way to enhance the discussion - remembering to receive email updates is crucial though. I would forget to go back and check the discussions. With email updates, you can see what has been answered and by whom and continue the conversation.

Day 5: Comment on a Blog Post You Don’t Agree With
I tend to not put myself out there in complete disagreement and would rather disagree agreeably. However, comments are not always perceived that way so I tend to be cautious and sometimes so much that the comment does not get written.

Because I still find blogs that extend myself and what I agree with, I have not had the opportunity to really find something to disagree with. Asking questions can get others to validate their points and perhaps provide areas to disagree with. More importantly, I think I need to swim with more sharks! There are bloggers like Clay Burrell who can really bring out the opposites that create quite lively discussions. I tend to comment about comments that I disagree with more than commenting on the posts that I am not in agreement.

Day 6: Engage another Commenter in Discussion
I need email updates for every comment I make and not just the ones that I comment with questions. I am sure I have missed discussions because I have not done so. By linking within the comment, I was able to get a poster to engage further discussion via email. I was very flattered that he took the time.

Day 7: Reflect on What You’ve Learned so Far

  • Don't let my comment be the last word - follow up, follow up, follow up!
  • Sift through the reader and then go somewhere else for information.
  • Ask questions in the blog comment.

Day 8: Comment on a blog outside of your niche
I have found the reading and commenting on environmental type blogs to be the most painful so far. The rudeness is unreal. We encounter some in edublogging, but in political and heavily charged blogs, it is much more prevalent. I did comment on a few of those, but really struggled with the process.

Day 9: Should We Be Commenting on Blogs?
I comment but I also post. Sometimes I do one without the other depending upon the amount of reflection that I need to do about the topic. In blogs, you can go back through the archives of the blogger and really get a feel for where they are coming from. Very few other media allow that to happen.

Day 10: Do a Comment Audit on Your Own Blog
Here are my problems:

  • Ask more questions in my blog. I get comments agreeing with what I say or I am posting about a blog I read which do not more than generate the same commenting over and over. I need to elicit discussions by asking questions that bring in responses.
  • I also need to be okay with not having the whole answer. I am not sure why I think my blog posts need to be complete and I need to sound like I have figured it all out. After all, I haven't and that is why I am blogging in the first continue my own education.
  • Should I ask a specific question at the end? Maybe that would elicit more comments vs. a question earlier in the post.
Day 11: Write a Blog comment policy
I have read here about making a comment policy (I know I would not look for that though) - will others see that? A great comment policy can be seen here. Okay, now that I have looked at one, maybe it would be great to have. After all, it took me awhile to figure out what to do and perhaps if someone sees it they will be more inclined to actually comment. This has given me the opportunity to redo my about me section and write an About the blog section.

Day 12: Make sure your blog technology is comment friendly
Time to go back in and look at what setting I have. I know that the non-bloggers in my school had a hard time commenting on my site as they had to click comment to bring up the window. That may be a stumbling block for others so now is the time to go back and see what I can change to make it much easier. Now that the way to comment has also been posted, this should really help out.

Day 13: Write a blog post using comments
My blog post entitled: Future direction has given me an opportunity to go back to comments and look at them all together. I also had the opportunity to determine what I have learned from them and where it can now send me in my blogging. What a great idea to get back to all those comments that you may have forgotten about and could really lead you into a different path.

Day 14 Turn your blog over to your readers
Ask a question…Hmmm….Something thought provoking….Something I will learn from….

I am way late on this but will definitely do it. Just not today.

Day 15 Give a comment award
I would give Claire Thompson an award. I do not have many who comment, but she has been pretty frequent and she is excellent at comments. Beyond that, she has great blog posts too.

I don't have a badge for her, but I know that coming up we need to leave comments in forms other than words. I think I'll combine these two.

Tags: comment08

1 comment:

  1. Louise, I am really honoured that you have given me a comment award! I have enjoyed reading your posts and am always keen to hear what you are doing in your science classes.

    In your Day 6 reflection you said, "I need email updates for every comment I make and not just the ones that I comment with questions." What I have found in the challenge is that I've probably missed some responses to comments I made. coComment was sending me duplicate copies of comment threads, and I've found it difficult to see where the new comments in a thread are. I think I'll go back to co.mments to track my conversations as it is easier to receive new comments in a thread. I've stopped using e-mail notifications as I was finding my in-box was getting overloaded.

    I enjoyed reading your reflections on the first part of the Challenge and look forward to reading more. I too have many of the tasks still to complete. Thanks again!